More people are working in both Cobb County and Douglas County, according to preliminary figures from the Georgia Department of Labor.
The unemployment rate in Cobb County dropped to 9.1 percent in October from and from 9.6 percent in October 2010.
In Douglas County, the rate fell to 10.8 percent in October from 11 percent in September, matching the 10.8 percent rate of October 2010.
The local numbers are not adjusted for seasonal factors.
The improvement in the counties around Powder Springs and Lithia Springs paralleled the improvement for the official metro Atlanta area, where the October rate was 9.9 percent, down from 10.2 percent in September and in October 2010.
Cobb’s rate remains lower than the seasonally adjusted state rate—10.2 percent in October, down from 10.3 percent in September and in October 2010—but higher than the national rate—an even 9 percent in October, compared with 9.1 percent in September and 9.7 in October 2010. Douglas’ rate is higher than the state and national figures.
The featured speaker at Bank of North Georgia’s Economic Forecast 2012 breakfast on Tuesday at the , however, suggested that any positive news was just a blip in a sluggish economy, the Marietta Daily Journal reported.
Albert Niemi Jr., the business dean at Southern Methodist University, predicted that the national unemployment rate will still be 9 percent at the end of 2012 because the economy isn’t producing jobs fast enough to overcome the growth in the labor force or to accommodate an estimated 12 million people who are underemployed or have given up even trying to find work, the said.
Still, the best part of the improvement in Cobb was that it reflected actual job growth.
The civilian labor force of Cobb residents 16 and older grew by more than 4,000 people in the past year to 371,014, according to the state Labor Department, but the number of jobs jumped by about 5,430 to 337,260.
An additional 1,770 Cobb residents got jobs in the past month alone, according to the state’s estimates.
Douglas County added an estimated 927 jobs from October 2010 to October 2011 while the labor force grew by 1,022 to 64,534 people.
Douglas County gained 302 jobs in October alone, the Labor Department said.
The Atlanta metro area of Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties added 13,900 jobs in October, the Labor Department estimated. Most of those jobs were in service-related industries such as professional and business services, trade, transportation, and warehousing, along with education and health services.
Statewide in October, Georgia added 26,500 jobs, up 0.7 percentage point to 3.82 million from 3.79 million in September. Early holiday-related hiring in retail, transportation and warehousing accounted for 12,200 of those new jobs.
October was the 51st consecutive month Georgia exceeded the national unemployment rate.